This month’s book is a 600 page classic called “The Creature From Jekyll Island”. The subtitle is “A Second Look at the Federal Reserve”, by G. Edward Griffin. The subtitle really tells the story of what the book is about. 

The fact is, very few people really know what the federal reserve is. Most think it is an arm of the US government. The fact is the Federal Reserve Bank is neither federal, nor has any reserves. 

If you’re going to be a player in this game called business and you care at all about money. Then you might want to invest some time into learning about what money is, where it comes from, and what some of the rules are that govern our financial system. If you’re playing a game and you don’t know the rules, well then, you probably won’t win the game. In fact, you might get crushed. 

I know what you’re thinking. “I know everything I need to know about money”. How complicated can it be? How will knowing a bit of history help me with my money problems today?

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the author G. Edward Griffin over the past several years. He’s one of the gentlest of gentlemen you could ever meet. He has been a documentary film maker for much of his life. 

This story begins late at nigh in a New Jersey railway station in 1910. The trains at that time consisted of coach cars immediately behind the locomotive which belched out massive quantities of thick black smoke that would infiltrate the guest accommodations through the unseen cracks. After that was the dining car, and then after that were the sleeping cars with the hard upper and lower bunks that made up the better class of service. At the very back of the train was a private car that was a 5 star rail car with the finest in furnishings and mahogany paneling. The name Aldrich was stencilled on the side of the car. Aldrich was senator Nelson Aldrich from Rhode Island. Aboard this last car were 7 men who represented about one fourth of the wealth of the entire world at the time. Nelson Aldrich was chairman of the national monetary commission, a business associate of JP Morgan and father in law of John D Rockefeller Jr. Some of the others aboard the train were:

  1. Abraham Piatt Andrew – Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury
  2. Frank Vanderlip – President of the National City Bank of NY
  3. Henry Davison – Senior Partner at JP Morgan
  4. Charles Norton – President of JP Morgans First National Bank of NY
  5. Benjamin Strong – head of JP Morgan’s banker trust 
  6. Paul Warburg – a representative of the Rothschild banking dynasty in England and France. His brother was Max Warburg who was head of the Warburg banking consortium in Germany and the Netherlands.

This clandestine trip to Jeckyll Island in Georgia was for the purpose of creating a new solution to the banking system’s problems, but this time owned and controlled by the banks, and legally sanctioned by the US government. 

The genesis of the book was a quest to create a documentary on the origins of the Federal Reserve. As Ed Griffin researched the works of prior authors, he became more fascinated with the topic. This culminated in Ed making his own trip to Jekyll Island in Georgia. There is a small museum on Jeckyll island where you can visit and see some of the original documents that date back to 1910. It was here that the uncomfortable truth was laid bare.

The story of the history of the Federal Reserve is an unpopular one, because its uncomfortable. But unless you know that what we call money isn’t actually money, you won’t understand the rules of how to play the game.